Call me thick but I would never in a gazillion years will think that this book is about mafia based solely on the cover. The huge floating chocolate heart doesn’t give you the impression, no? But when I read the summary I was really, really interested. People from the flip side knew I have a sort of fascination with the Mafia (oh, I’m not talking the likes of The Godfather here, more of the infant talking, dying will wielding sort of mafia—and for the interest of the perplexed I meant Katekyo Hitman Reborn). Anyhoo, the mafia thing plus coffee and chocolates are illegal? You know I gotta read this book, right?
Did I mention Chocolates and Coffee are prohibited? Right. Well, in 2083 it is. Anya Balanchine is the second child of a mob boss, one of the most influential families in the mafia world, and their business—chocolates. But her dad died in an assassination and her older brother is mentally challenged leaving the responsibility on her shoulder. But someone is trying to sabotage them. And it is up to her to decide whether she’ll accept her birthright to protect her family (and the family). 😉
I’m a bit uncertain, but let me talk about the positives. First, I liked the author chose mafia as the subject. It is a sort of new in YA (well, for me it is). Since now you know that my knowledge of mafia is leaning towards the pages of Shonen Jump. I admittedly expecting a bit action oriented kinda book, I mean they’re “mafia,” the gun toting and sleek suit wearing ones. Plus, I was really fascinated to the idea that a girl is running an organized crime (that seriously is kick-ass), then the whole chocolates are contraband. It all sounds so cool and new to me. Which is actually still was, but in a less gun-toting and more of teenage drama way. Good thing Anya was ok. I’m not sure if I find it funny or irritating that she is actually talking to the readers (I mean she really is, literally. She was referring to the readers and herself as the narrator). But regardless she was likable so that was ok… I guess.
Romance? Ah, yes that one. I don’t like Win. He was sort of bizarre and yet ordinary. This is supposed to be 2038 but he sounded like a guy came from 1900’s. You don’t call a girl the same age as you are as ‘lass.’ Even if that’s a term of endearment it sounds weird. Plus what’s with the tipping of the hat? Not that it is wrong being an old fashion, it was for me a bit out of place. He acted liked an old guy. I really thought I will like the romance because she’s the daughter of mob boss and he’s the son of the assistant D.A. Star-crossed lover in the making, helloooo? But no, it wasn’t all like that. No sparks—they’re (very) insipid as a couple.
Now, let’s get to the part what I liked best. Actually it is more a who rather than a what? I’m talking about Yuji Ono. Oh man, I liked this guy. My sis said she liked Yuji, often times we end up liking the same guy (what can I say it runs in the genes—real people does not count here) when Anya mentioned the good looking Asian guy, I was telling myself—this is it, I finally gonna meet him. And mama mia! He was so cool, even he is one finger (pinkie) less. Like Anya, he’s a Mafioso and also in the chocolate biz. I don’t care he’s older (he’s 23 if anyone is asking), I liked him better (and he was only introduced a tad later, and just few scenes. That’s how huge his impact was). He is now officially on my book crush list. LOL
If you’re the ones who’re digging some mafia action, dude this is definitely NOT the book for you. I mean, the chocolates is illegal is a dead giveaway that it is no way near that caliber. That said, I was entertained, and that counts the most. (Plus, I met Yuji, the sexy Japanese mafioso! /nuff said).